Thursday, January 29, 2015

Open wide

I still love to take pictures of people eating.

We had eegee's (a local Tucson restaurant) on the show today and the hosts ate it up... so to speak.

All these desserts....
which one should I choose?

Maybe I'll eat one of these...
if no one is looking.

Open wide!

Om nom nom!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The face of Tuff

Each week on the TV show, we have adoptable pets on from organizations like the Humane Society Of Southern Arizona, Pima Paws For Life, Hermitage Cat Shelter, and a variety of smaller specialty breed organizations. All of us who work on the show enjoy meeting the animals that visit us.

The animals are often difficult to take pictures of because they move around a lot. I end up challenging myself when I'm shooting photos on the set to try and nail at least one that I think looks good.

Today we were visited by Tuff, a one year old Shar Pei male mix, from the Humane Society. He's a really great dog, good looking boy, and while affectionate was also energetic.

He apparently likes to look at himself in the mirror. While he was on TV, he saw himself in the monitors and seemed to enjoy looking at his image. It ended up being my opportunity to shoot a great photo of his face, which was quite expressive.

Whoever adopts this dog is going to get a really great companion. I just hope they don't have a lot of mirrors (or TV monitors) in their home, or Tuff will spend all of his time in front of the mirror looking at himself.

Now that I think about it... reminds me of Anthony.

Tuff the dog.
With a face like that, who wouldn't
want to look at himself all the time?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

28 years and counting

It occurred to me today that 2015 marks the 28th year of my career in the media business. I did the math today and I estimate that I've worked in this business approximately 72,000 hours. They say (whoever they is) that it takes 10,000 hours doing something before you can be considered an expert. I am apparently over seven experts wrapped into one at this point.

Over 20 of those years have been working in a management role of some type. I never had aspirations of working in management at the beginning of my career. The first radio Program Director job I ever applied for in 1992 -- I got the job. There have been a few short periods where I have not been in a management role of some type, but I seem to land back into another one pretty quickly.

I made the transition to television in 2012 and it only took four months to land my current position as Executive Producer. It's been the toughest job I've ever had, and I'm still at it three years later.

I don't offer advice to anyone very often -- mostly because I'm never asked. But, since this is my blog, I'll throw a few things out there that may (or may not) be helpful to you.

Show up and be reliable. It has amazed me over the years how easy that is to do and how difficult it is for an awful lot of people to execute. I've worked through minor ailments (colds, headaches), bad weather, car problems, exhaustion, frustration, break ups, make ups, hangovers, you name it. If you suck at your job but you show up every day, you'll last at any job much longer than if you're a flake. And, show up on time.

Finish your work. I've worked weekends, holidays, late nights, to finish the stuff I'm responsible for. On top of that, I've had to finish other people's stuff hundreds of times over the years because they were hungry or tired or didn't want to. It's given me the reputation for being a very hard worker, and that has helped to keep me employed.

Challenge yourself. The only way you grow as a person is to do things that are uncomfortable. Sometimes you will fail, sometimes you will have success. But, you won't do bigger and better things without the occasional leap of faith and heading into the unknown. I had no idea when I started my career that it would become a career. My thought process was that maybe I had a shot at making something of it if I worked harder than most people. It worked out alright.

The hundreds of co-workers I've had over the years have taught me a lot about how the business works and about myself. I wouldn't be who I am today without the opportunities I've had to work with some amazing people.

Speaking of amazing people, I shot a photo today from the back of the studio. It was a moment in time to capture a glimpse of the handful of the fabulous folks that I work with each day.

The Morning Blend on January 27, 2015
as seen from the back of the studio
while the show was on live.

January 27 Tucson sunset

New England and the Boston area are having hideous blizzard conditions today. Tucson is experiencing it's version of winter as well -- it rained a little today and hit 75 degrees. Brrrrrr.

I had to wear a sweater today and even wore a jacket to work this morning. Winters in Tucson can be brutal.

I took Lucky out to the backyard when I got home from work for a pee, and thought the sunset was pretty. So, I shot a photo.

January 27 Tucson sunset
as seen from my backyard.

Monday, January 26, 2015

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Occasionally the Tucson Fire Department brings a ladder truck out to an area near the TV station and does ladder truck hose training into the nearby Pantano Wash.

I spotted a firefighter up on a ladder this morning, and when I put the 400mm lens on my DSLR camera and zoomed in, it looked like he was taking a mighty powerful pee from the top of the ladder.

Maybe he had a big cup of coffee this morning. After all, it's a Monday and it's tough sometimes getting a work week going.

Tucson Fire Department ladder truck
hose training, as seen from the back
parking lot of the KGUN building.

If you use a little imagination,
it looks like this firefighter is taking
a really big pee.
I was too far away to hear
him say "ahhhhh".

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Prime rib sandwich, burrito soup, and bikini cream

It's the end of a pretty uneventful weekend.

I didn't get much done yesterday except take a long wonderful afternoon nap and all of my laundry. I did leave the house for about 30 minutes last night to buy a burrito at Paco's Mexican Food at Grant and Craycroft, and stop at Circle K to buy Anthony a few candy bars to eat for breakfast this morning.

After I gave Lucky a bath and took an afternoon nap, we had our usual Sunday excursion today to eat dinner out and go grocery shopping. Dinner was at Culver's at Broadway and Camino Seco. I tried their shaved prime rib sandwich for the first time. I've eaten a lot of delicious things from Culver's, but the prime rib sandwich isn't one of them. It reminded me of eating a Steak-Umm but pretty greasy. I'll stick to the burgers at Culver's in the future, thank you very much.

Anthony and I went to the Walmart Neighborhood Market at Broadway and Camino Seco to do our weekly grocery shopping. That was pretty routine except for the ten minute wait we had behind a customer who attempted to price match every single thing in her cart. Price Match is a service Walmart offers where if you find an item advertised by another store at a lower price, Walmart will match it. It's a nice service if you use it, but it sucks if you're behind someone who attempts to do it to an entire cart full of items. The only reason it was really an issue is because the prime rib Culver's sandwich was already causing my digestive system to go into overdrive, and let's just say "holding it" was causing my legs to go numb. And that is your too much information moment for today.

Our order number at Culver's was 98
which is also my age.

My view of Broadway looking out
the window next to our booth
at Culver's.

We didn't eat in an empty restaurant today
but it wasn't very busy.

Anthony looks like a mad scientist
while deciding what custard he should
eat after his dinner.

Our dinner at Culver's:
Chicken strips and cheese curds for Anthony,
fries and a prime rib sandwich for Ken.

The fries were delicious.
The prime rib sandwich was
mean to my stomach.

Great Value Whole New Potatoes
at Walmart Neighborhood Market.
I think most people prefer new potatoes
over old ones, but I have never
taken a formal poll.

Campbell's Chunky Soup
Their new varieties are getting weird
including "Hearty Pizza" and
"Beef Burrito".
I want to meet the person who approves
these flavors so I can tell them they're stupid.

More weird Campbell's Chunky Soup flavors
include Philly Style Cheesesteak.
The Beer-N-Cheese actually doesn't
sound half bad but that's cause
it has bacon.

Hot Pockets Chipotle Beef
I'll bet it looks the same coming out of you
as it does on the box.

I had to take a Looka
at the Looka.

Ritz Bacon crackers.
Oh yeah, I bought 'em.

Goldfish Honey Bun Grahams
The best invention since the wheel!

Goldfish Vanilla Cupcake and Strawberry Shortcake
The second and third best inventions since
the wheel!

Kaos Water Balloons
I really really really really
wanted to buy these and
take them to work.
But, I realized that if they were used
there was a giant chance I'd get fired.
Never mind.

"Hey Anthony! I have something for you!
And, it works on delicate areas!"
He doesn't seem very excited.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The thing hanging out of Anthony's car

I went to check the mailbox, which is out by the street, when I got home from work and I noticed something hanging out of the driver's side rear door of Anthony's SUV.

It stuck out to me because I noticed it yesterday but since he drove to Oro Valley and back for work again today and it was still there, I thought it might be something that was a part of the car. I decided to KENvestigate because this is the kind of thing that Anthony doesn't pay any attention to. I was hoping it wasn't something that was part of the door that was falling off.

It turned out to be a grocery store receipt from Basha's, one of the fancier stores in the Tucson area. The first thing I thought was, "Wow, that receipt is remarkably clean for hanging out of the bottom of the door for at least two days and traveling about a hundred miles like that" and the second thought I had was, "Hey, he's been cheating on Walmart Neighborhood Market with some fancy store! How dare he!" I'm the one who insists on going to Walmart so it didn't really surprise me that when left to his own choice, he opted for the fancy. He's always had much more expensive taste than I do.

The only item I could read at the top of the receipt (you'll see in the photo below) was "cookie boxes". Or as he refers to it, "breakfast".

The thing I noticed hanging out
of the bottom of Anthony's SUV

It was a receipt from Basha's.
I hope he enjoyed his
"basic cookie boxes"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A really big nut

I'm a sucker for a gimmick.

When I've had the opportunity to book a segment on the TV show with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, I do it every time. There's something fun about putting a giant wiener on television.

The Planter's Nutmobile paid the station a visit today. The Peanutters, which is what the crew that drives it around is called, brought it by KGUN. I brought the hosts out to take pictures with it, and then decided to make room in tomorrow's show to do a segment with the Peanutters and the Nutmobile. After all, it's not every day I can add a giant peanut on wheels to the show's lineup.

They gave us sacks of nuts -- Salted caramel peanuts to be exact, which are really good.

I went NUTS taking pictures.

The Nutmobile in front of the KGUN building

The butt of the nut

Show hosts Alex and Tina
stand next to the nut

A look inside of the Nutmobile
with a Peanutter, Jim, Alex and Tina

The nuts that I work with

Tina opens wide for a
mouthful of nuts

A big nut with a big nut.
I suck at selfies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

Every time I eat pizza, I always think of the line from the old Dean Martin song, "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore."

It's been a very routine week. The only thing that has been out of the ordinary is the staff meeting and pizza lunch we had today at work.

Pizza from Brooklyn Pizza was on the menu. The only space in our building large enough to have all of the staff meet in is the TV studio, so that's where it all went down.

My co-workers are predictable in one area: If there is free food offered, they show up.

Heading into the main TV studio
for pizza lunch

The weather center becomes
a pizza buffet

First stop - get a plate,
get some salad

The line gets longer

Have to get drinks, too

The pizzas went fast

There is nothing that excites me more
than the perfect candid eating action photo.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A token of love for the princess

Weekends always seem to fly by. Just when I have caught up on the sleep I don't get during the work week, I have to go back to work. It's the life of someone who hasn't won the lottery, I suppose.

Anthony and I wrapped up the weekend by having dinner at Pizza Studio on Grant near Tanque Verde, and grocery shopping at Walmart Neighborhood Market at 22nd and Craycroft.

Tragically, nothing out of the ordinary happened so I would have an epic story to tell. The one interesting thing from the day is New England and Seattle won their divisional NFL games and are heading to the Superbowl in two weeks at University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale. I won't be attending the game because I don't have tickets, but I will be able to watch the game on TV and pretend that it's exciting the game is being played here in Arizona even though it won't benefit me whatsoever.

It'll be just like Superbowl Sunday last year, when I went to dinner with Anthony and shopped at the grocery store. We know how to party.

Anthony's pizza at Pizza Studio.
No meat on there.
It's not a real man's pizza without meat dammit.

My bacon, ham and mushroom pizza.
Oh yeah, I get meat on mine.

Bags of cereal at the 22nd and Craycroft
Walmart Neighborhood Market.
These giant bags of knockoff cereal
are big enough to hurt someone
if you swung it at their head.

GoodNites bedtime underwear.
This young man on the package
sure looks happy that he wets
himself when he sleeps.

Girlie Nails
"Little nails for little fingers"
And, they're safe to remove!

Sneaky photo of Anthony in the cleaning
products aisle at Walmart Market.
His life has been more fulfilled
since he discovered Swiffer.

Come here little Princess.
I have something for you!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I made dinner (again), Anthony concerned that he might die

When I die, my tombstone should have two words under my name:  "He tried".

I try to do a lot of things. My level of success is usually a total crapshoot. My career has survived thanks to trying. My cooking doesn't have as much success associated with it as my work.

Tonight I tried to make dinner again. I haven't made dinner for both Anthony and I very many times in the six years we've known each other. He never really comes out and says it, but I think he believes that the food I make will somehow make him sick... or kill him.

Tonight I made beef tenderloin steak, a stuffed baked potato, and corn. For dessert, a caramel apple tart with ice cream.

The last time I cooked him a steak, he told me that he likes it more red in the middle than I made it that day. So, today I made it between rare and medium rare. That was a disaster. He said it was cold, and not cooked enough. A heated discussion (some people would call it an argument, but I don't think it reached that level) ensued where I told him I made it the way he said he wanted it based on the last steak I prepared and his comments about that piece of meat. His response was that it was raw, cold, and it needed to be cooked more. So, back into the oven it went.  I can't win.

So far, seven hours later as I write this, he hasn't shown signs of food poisoning or death. I may have gotten away with not killing him with my cooking, again.

Stuffed baked potato, steak, and corn
prepared with love by Ken Carr.
Anthony wondered if it would
be his last meal.

Caramel apple tart, vanilla ice cream,
and sea salt caramel sauce.
Anthony wondered if it would
be his last dessert.