Saturday, May 31, 2014

Extra long BBQ cheeseburger at Burger King

Anthony and I went through the drive thru this evening at the Craycroft and Grant Burger King location.

He's a funny guy to ride with.  One of the unique things about his driving is the lack of patience he has with the experience.  He talks smack about other drivers and if you believe what he says, thinks that every other driver on the road is an idiot.

That thought process came out big time when we were in the drive thru.  He talked smack about the person who took our order through the menu board speaker, about the driver in front of us, and was mad the order was taking a bit to come out.  The one thing that cheered him up was the employee who gave us the food through the window hooked us up with large fries as an apology for the longer than average wait.

I ordered the Extra Long BBQ cheeseburger.  It was on one of the longer buns that the chicken sandwiches are normally served on, with four onion rings, two small burger patties, and barbecue sauce.  It was good, I'd order it again.

Next time we go, I think we'll go inside even if it's a to-go order.  Maybe I can keep him occupied enough that he won't get angry at the poor employees at the store if he's in an air conditioned restaurant rather than having to sit in the hot car in the drive thru.

Anthony tries to be patient with the employee
at the Grant and Craycroft Burger King drive thru.
Photo bomb: The graffiti tag on the light over the speaker.
Looks like "SNAK" or maybe "SWER" or possibly "SWAR".
The people who do graffiti rarely write neatly enough for the rest of us to
understand what the hell they're writing.

I ordered the Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger

The Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger and large fries from Burger King.
Photo bomb in our kitchen courtesy of Anthony's foot

Goodbye Sally lunch

I went to a lunch at Zinburger on Friday.  Some of the people I work with gathered to say goodbye to my co-worker Sally.

It was a nice little lunch on their patio.  Unfortunately, it was 100 degrees and even though there was a slight breeze and they had misters on, it was pretty uncomfortable.  I was wearing a long sleeved dress shirt and jeans which didn't help.

The burger I ate completely upset my stomach.  I spent the afternoon after returning to work making hourly visits to the restroom.  (There's your TMI moment for today).

Co-workers on the patio at Zinburger for Sally's goodbye lunch

Waiting for our food to arrive

The food starts to arrive

I ate a Samburger, which came out of me faster than it went in.

Misters on the patio attempt to moderate the heat at Zinburger

Sally has a conversation with Stella.
Goodbye Sally, we'll miss you!

Meeting Terry Fator

I met Terry Fator, the ventriloquist / comedian who has an ongoing show in Las Vegas and who won the first season of America's Got Talent in 2007.  He performed at AVA Amphitheatre next to Casino Del Sol on Friday night.

It was quickly obvious why he won the competition.  He's really good.  Performers like him are amazing to watch even for a five minute segment on a TV show like the one I manage.

He (along with his turtle buddy Winston) was kind enough to pose for a photo.

Winston, Terry Fator, and Ken Carr
The real dummy is the one on the right in the green shirt with fabulous hair.

My window is wearing protection

I posted photos a couple of weeks ago of the repaint job that is underway at Ridgepointe.  The painters are repainting the repainting.

The repainting of the repainting has made its way over to my building.

It's weird to look at it and realize that parts of the building are the same color as my butt.  And, just like my butt, it doesn't seem to be getting any less white.  The difference is in the next few days the building will get darker.  At least I'm assuming it will.

This section of my apartment building has been repainted white.
The resemblance to the color of my butt is amazing.

Painted green, painted white, and soon to be green again.
It's the repainting of the repainting.

The painters are making sure that my living room window
is wearing protection.
This is the best way to protect the window from pregnancy.

The last four photos I shot with the Canon SX50

I shipped off my super zoom Canon SX50 camera to Heather in California, who was kind enough to buy it from me a few days ago.

Before I packed it up to ship, I checked the SD card and there were four photos I had not downloaded.  As a tribute to the KENjoyment I got from the camera while I had it, I'm sharing them with you.

It was fun to have while it lasted.

I shot this photo of the moon to show Payton how neat the camera is.
It kind of looks like a butt cheek.
A butt cheek that desperately needs exfoliation.

A wide shot of a jet flying at high altitude over Tucson.
This was the view from my master bedroom balcony.

Another shot of the jet zoomed in a bit.

Same jet, zoomed in even closer.
I think I see someone waving from one of the windows.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Camera for sale - Canon SX50 super zoom

SOLD!  Thanks for checking it out though.

It breaks my heart, but I'm putting one of my favorite cameras up for sale.  The Ken Carr car is broKEN and I need the money to get closer to what it'll take to repair it.

I have for sale a Canon SX50 super zoom camera.  It's got one of the most awesome zoom lenses I've ever seen.  1200mm or roughly a 200 times digital zoom.  Here's the camera's description page on the Canon website -- click here.

The camera is basically in brand new condition.  I still have the box in came in with all items included that it was sold with.  I also have an external Canon Speedlite 270EX flash that goes on the hot shoe (external flashes are much nicer than the one that is the little pop up on the camera itself), 2 extra batteries, the external wall charger, a 16GB SD card, and a hand grip that I added.

The camera is currently selling on for $399.00 without any of the extras.  The external flash sells for $149.00 on Amazon, the batteries $22.99, and the SD card about $10, and the hand grip $10.  That's $590 worth of stuff if you bought it all on Amazon today (not including shipping).

I'm offering it all for $400.00 cash.  If you're interested, I have it in my office at KGUN 9 and you can come by and see it during business hours at 7280 E. Rosewood Street, near Speedway and Kolb.  Alert me you're coming by calling my direct line at (520) 290-7681 or call if you have any questions.  I'd like to try and sell it without having to deal with Craigslist so I'm offering it here first.

Here's a photo of what I'm selling, and some picture examples of what it's capable of (note -- there was no retouching or filtering of the photos, the only thing I did was sized them down a bit for display on this blog... wait til you see the kind of photos it can shoot of the moon!  See below):

Canon Speedlite 270EX external flash (goes on the hot shoe on top of the camera),
charger with two extra batteries (third battery in the camera),
Canon SX 50 camera with 1200mm super zoom lens,
the hand grip on the camera, and box the camera came in with instruction book and
whatever discs it came with (I never used them but they're in there)
Example photo:  University of Arizona football game October 2013
This is a wide shot from a luxury box on the west side of the stadium

Example photo:  Sunset view looking north

Sunset view looking south about an hour before kickoff

Injured Jared Tevis, who was on the OPPOSITE sideline... I was still
in the same sky box as the above photos. It's got an amazing zoom lens.

Picture of game action taken from same west side luxury box

Here's the lunar eclipse from April

Another photo of the lunar eclipse taken with this Canon SX50

Monday, May 26, 2014

The slightly tragic end to a holiday weeKENd

It's come to the end of the first three day weekend of 2014.

I enjoyed the extra day off.  I supposed I needed the break.  The one real downer was the Ken Carr car breaking down.  I tried starting it up tonight to see if it was going to hold up after last night's issue and break down at Broadway and Craycroft (I think it's a bad valve, but I have pretty limited car knowledge) and it's chugging like a diesel engine (it's a rotary, shouldn't be doing that).  My high level of hope that it was a glitch has not played out.

I'm the type of guy that may groan a bit when life isn't treating me like I'd like, but I'm still convinced that it will work out.  I never know how it will, or most of the time how to approach a tough situation except to grind my way through it, but it always seems to turn out alright.  I just have to go through some pain to get there.

Being the glass half full person that I am, I fully expect a sack of money just full enough to pay for the repair of the car will come falling out of the sky.  Hopefully it won't fall directly onto my head, or I'll end up with a serious neck or cranium injury and the car money will be spent on a broken neck.

In the meantime, a moment of sadness and despair for the broken Ken Carr car.  You may be ten years old but I know you've got a lot of life left.  I'll get you fixed as soon as I'm able!

The Ken Carr car (when she was feeling much better)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Ken Carr car just won't quit

Today was one of those days that I'd like to forget.

It's the middle of a three day weekend, the first one I've had this year.  Even though I have tomorrow off, we still needed to get our usual Sunday stuff done -- dinner and a trip to the grocery store.

Dinner was at Taco Bell at Grant and Tanque Verde.  I had a couple of Chalupas and a taco, Payton had a taco salad, and Anthony had a Cantina Bowl that was supposed to be chicken and they gave him steak.  That wrong order may have been an omen for what was ahead for the evening.

We went to Walmart Neighborhood Market and 22nd and Craycroft.  Despite the incredible joy it brings me to shop at that store, Anthony despises going there.  But, I insist because it's cheap.  Walmarts are built for people like me, who are needing to make their money stretch.  I can't afford the luxurious grocery stores with employees who bag your groceries for you and customers who dress fashionably while they shop.  He's kind of bitter about my forcing us to shop there.  That played out in the store when he wasn't very patient with me today.  A minor argument occurred when we were near the peanut butter.  I hope I can make him happy by being able to afford some other kind of store one day... just as soon as I win the lottery.

The real drama came on the drive home.  I got up to Broadway and Craycroft and decided I couldn't make it through the traffic light that was changing (it's one of those red light camera intersections) so I slammed on the brakes.  The Ken Carr car didn't like that and the engine died.  I don't ever remember that happening before.  I attempted to restart the car and it was cranking but not firing up the engine.  I made a quick decision to get out of the car while asking Payton and Anthony to help push to get it out of the intersection and off to the side of the street on Broadway.  A few more tries to get the engine to start were unsuccessful.  So, they helped get the car pushed off the street and into a nearby parking lot by BJ's Brewhouse.

The car has needed a valve replacement for over a year but I haven't had the $700 that I was quoted by Jim Click Mazda to get it replaced.  It starts a little slow and smells like it's running rich (unburned fuel odor) but has been limping along in that time.  I started thinking that the abrupt stop at the traffic light might have flooded the engine and that's what caused it to die and refuse to restart.

Anthony called his dad to come down and take the frozen food items out of the trunk of my car and take him to our apartment to retrieve his SUV.  When Anthony returned about half an hour later, Payton suggested I try starting the car and it actually started.  But, it began making quite a tapping noise when I tried driving it around the parking lot to see if it was going to run.  I ended up parking it over by the Office Depot in the same lot and leaving it so I could go home and retrieve the info I needed to call Progressive Roadside Assistance to have it towed home.

Anthony drove me back to the car a couple of hours later so I could arrange for the tow.  I decided to try starting it again and this time it turned over and wasn't tapping anymore.  It seemed to run the same as before it had died at the Broadway / Craycroft intersection.  After a little debate, I decided to try driving it home with Anthony following.  It ran fine the whole way.

I'm sure that I am a lucky bastard that the car seems to be hanging in there a little longer.  Hopefully it will stay that way long enough for me to figure out how to manufacture the cost of repair.  How I'm going to do that, I have no idea.  Maybe a bake sale or a car wash.

Anthony's Cantina Bowl at Taco Bell.
It was supposed to be chicken but they made steak.
I'm KENvinced if they had made it correctly
my car would not have broken down.

Payton's taco salad at Taco Bell

My chicKEN Chalupa with a bite taken out of it

My taco at Taco Bell

Little Hug Fruit Barrels at Walmart Neighborhood Market
Who doesn't want a little hug?

Ticklebelly Cake Pops - BFF Strawberry Shortcake
8 of these for $9.98?!
For that price, they better give me a hand job before I eat it.

Lunchables Nachos cheese dip and salsa
with a little chocolate bunny for dessert.
If you missed Easter, this will make up for it.

Campbell's Mega Noodle Soup
Mega Noodle = sounds like a date I've had

Secret photo of Anthony looking at stuffing
while a really short woman stands near him.
I wanted to put her in my pocket but I think that's illegal in Arizona.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I overslept the day they handed out super powers

If I had the chance to get one super power, it would be the ability to see how a story ends.  I don't mind living the experiences of life, or living with my own choices, I just wish I didn't have to let some things play out before know the outcome.  Unfortunately, I missed the memo with the schedule for when super powers were handed out so I didn't receive any.

Right now, I'm currently living with a situation that I didn't anticipate.  I'm the only employed person in my household right now.  I won't sugar coat it, it feels like a heavy burden to carry.

Anthony has been angry with me for months that I made him take a job at a school that he didn't want last fall.  That job ended a couple of days ago.  He's on the search for a new job but waiting for that process to play out creates some extra pressure.  I'm trying to not think about it too much.

Payton, who is Anthony's friend staying with us for a few weeks, is also unemployed.  There was a thought process on our part when we let him stay that he would take advantage of the opportunity to go find a job and be self sustaining.  At this point, the investment we've made in his staying here has not paid off in the way we had hoped.  To his credit, he's been a very polite house guest and it's been fine to have him here.  He takes out the garbage, goes to bed early, is quiet when we're sleeping, and is nice to Lucky.  He's just not motivated by anything except spending all day wandering around downtown with his girlfriend and goofing off.  He's 18 and not the first guy I've met that age that functions like he does. Maybe that was a misguided expectation on my part to think that he'd be wanting to conquer the world.  I figured it didn't hurt to try which is why I agreed to this in the first place.

The learning experience I've gained from this playing out, is that there is a point when I have to try and not worry about other people's problems even if I have great love for them.  It reminds me of the handful of times I've been on an airplane and the flight attendant's instructions always include telling passengers that if the oxygen masks drop down during a flight to put it on your own face first, before helping the person next to you.  It feels mean to view life in this way but it's real.  Placing my self imposed expectations on someone else isn't fair to them and not productive.  It's a struggle to reprogram myself to think this way, but I'm giving it a try.

I have made a million (probably more) mistakes in my life.  I don't have all of the answers.  But, I've also learned that I'm an unusual person because I have always made working my number one focus.  It's the reason why I haven't taken a vacation day since July 2010.  I haven't felt like I've been able to afford to take a day off.  That self pressure is my own thing but it's been the one constant in my life.  But, I won't stop trying.  Working is really the one thing that I'm good at.  I show up every day and no matter how good or bad a day at work is, I am as cheerful as possible and grateful that I am there.

In a misguided effort to help some of the broke-ness at my house, I did try to win a little money last night at Casino Del Sol with $45 in free play.  That was unsuccessful as well.  It's my first (and maybe only) visit to a casino this year.  I thought maybe I had saved up some luck but not so much.  I live on hope and faith half the time that life will give me a break, so I gave it a shot.

I do get to sleep in on Monday for Memorial Day since that's a company holiday.  That feels like I've won something.  Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference.

Night time photo of Casino Del Sol Resort
with the hotel tower on the left and casino on the right.
No money to take home on this visit but it's a lovely place to look at.

Shameless Kentastic self promotion

One of my recent projects is doing a little bit of marketing for this blog.  My thought process behind the effort is that I spend the time to create content for it, I might as well attempt to get a few more people to see it.  If you can believe Google's statistics, it receives about an average of 500 visitors a month.  Not bad for my random Kenparazzi photos and silly sense of humor.

Vistaprint was having a sale so I ordered a few items with my newly self-designed logo printed on stuff.  I thought I'd give a mug and a mousepad a try in addition to some business cards.  I wondered what a couple of promotional items might look like with my amateur attempt at a logo and the two items together were about $12 plus a few bucks for shipping.

Maybe one day I'll seriously toss around the idea of Kentastic Ken Carr merchandise.  First, I have to figure out if anyone would have any interest in buying stuff with my big round face on it.  That's where the big hurdle exists.  If I sold dart boards with my face in the middle, those would probably sell well.  So would Ken Carr toilet paper.  Wiping your butt on my face likely would have a lot of appeal.  But t-shirts, mugs, mousepads, more traditional stuff?  Unknown at this point.

The KENtastic Ken Carr mug.
It looks like Uranus.

The KENtastic Ken Carr mousepad.
It also looks like Uranus.

Warm it up and it gets much bigger

Anthony purchased a cinnamon loaf.

It was about six inches long and a couple of inches around in diameter when frozen.  It was like a science experiment when he decided to prepare it for eating.  It has to be taken out of the wrapper, put on a cookie sheet, and allowed to thaw for 8-12 hours.  It has yeast so it grows to probably 5-6 times it's frozen size before being put into the oven.

It was crazy huge when it came out of the oven.  Add a little icing, and yumminess!

I didn't grab my camera until it was already cooled, iced, and a piece
eaten out of it.  But, here's the finished product.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A visit to Curacao

We had an on-site video shoot today for the TV show at the Curacao department store on the south side at I-10 and 6th Avenue.

It's a huge and amazing store.  It's amazing because they have such a wide array of products -- electronics, furniture, kids stuff, home appliances, computers, bikes, cosmetics, the list goes on.

The Kenparazzi was on the case to give you some behind the scenes of the shoot.

Discussing the shoot

Putting microphones on

This dark haired guy at the store was funny to me because
he was flirting with the ladies.

Shooting video in the computer department

A wide shot of the interior of the store while an interview was in progress

Austin (black hat) is trying to figure out why I'm shooting pictures.
He obviously has never read my blog.

Getting ready to shoot video in the furniture department

Going over script in the furniture department

A Hello Kitty bed

About to shoot another interview

The Hello Kitty bed was a popular spot

This 3D TV was only about 1/4 inch thick

Shooting an interview in the TV department

If my living room had this many TV's...
Anthony would never leave the couch.

Another shot of the store from the computer department

Interior photo -- Curacao is a big place

Someone lost a shoe outside of the Curacao store

The shoe was probably thrown from a car on I-10...
which is on the other side of that wall.

Urban art: "Spyer" spray painted on the I-10 retaining wall
north of the Curacao store.

Thanks Curacao for letting me visit!