Friday, February 27, 2015

A little excitement around here. Very little.

I've lived in this house for a few months now. It's been nice to have the space. I'm not a big fan of the condition of the yard, but it's been easy to take Lucky outside in the backyard to do his doody duty.

One thing that is different living here is the lack of opportunities to shoot photos of neighborhood excitement. By excitement, I mean police, fire, emergency crews doing the fine job that they do. It's so darned quiet on this street that compared to when we lived at Ridgepointe, there haven't been any opportunities to shoot emergency responders at work putting out fires, fighting crime, helping people with their medical emergencies, hunting down perps.... until today.

I heard a siren that sounded pretty close right after I got home from work. I ran and grabbed a camera, full of hope and anticipation. And, there it was. A fire truck in front of a house a block away. I couldn't tell why they were there. My guess is a medical issue of some sort.

It was momentarily exciting. I'll take what I can get.

A fire truck with it's emergency lights
blinking at a house a block away
from where I live.

A car drove by.
Bonus excitement.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Video shoot at Chapman Acura

I left the station for a couple of hours today to go manage a video shoot at Chapman Acura today. The shoot was for the TMC Mega Raffle for a future segment on the show, and showcased two of the cars that the Mega Raffle is giving away including a Porsche and an Acura.

I shot a few photos in the dealership's showroom.

(Side note: This is the same dealership that I purchased my Mazda RX-8 at in 2005 -- it was one year used at that time. One of the most exciting days of my life a decade ago. Random memory).

At Chapman Acura, 22nd and Swan Road
for a video shoot.
This white Acura is one of the cars
being given away from the
TMC Mega Raffle.

This Porsche Macan is also being given away.
They carefully maneuvered it into the showroom
for the video shoot.

The Porsche Macan in position for the video shoot

Checking the shot before rolling video

Lee keeps an eye on the monitor
while Tina and Kathy chat about the cars
for an upcoming TV show episode

And, that's a wrap.
Tina closes her eyes and touches her butt
while removing her microphone.
I couldn't have timed this photo any better.

A last look in the showroom at the two cars
I can't afford to buy.
Fortunately, dreaming is free.

I spotted this display of trophies
for Salesperson of the Month.
Teresa Furgason apparently kicks some ass.
You go, girl.

Behind the scenes: Production Control Room

The guts of the TV show -- where the magic really happens -- is in the Production Control Room.

I shot a couple of photos in there today to give you a little glimpse of what they see when they work together to make the pictures that you see appear on your TV screen.

They like working in the dark.

Director Chris somehow knows what to do
after looking at all of those little boxes
on the screens in front of him.

Alex manages show timing and many
other aspects of the episode.
He uses the headset to take
orders from the drive thru.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Payton's 19th birthday

Anthony and I had dinner tonight at Cheddar's Café in celebration of our friend Payton's 19th birthday.

If you are a regular Ken Carr blog reader, you'll remember that Payton stayed with us for a few weeks in the spring of 2014. It was fun to see him and catch up a bit. Plus, tomorrow (February 25) is his 19th birthday. Ahhhh, I remember when I turned 19. It was sometime around the beginning of the Civil War.

Anyway, we tried Cheddar's at El Con Mall for the first time. They just opened a few weeks ago. I was surprised at how busy it was for a Tuesday night (almost no where is busy in Tucson on a Tuesday, it's almost as dead in Tucson on Tuesdays as it is on Sundays).

Cheddar's has a dark wood themed interior (very 1970's of them) and was pretty noisy, but comfortable. The menu has a lot of dinner-ish items... meat and potatoes stuff, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, ribs. I often try to guess what a restaurant's point of differentiation is compared to other places. It's tough to tell with this one, the food tasted alright but there isn't anything that really stands out as spectacularly different than other restaurants. Maybe that's it -- "we're like other restaurants, but we're called Cheddar's, so that's what makes us different."

As far as prices go, a lot of stuff on the menu is in the ten dollar-ish range per item (give or take) so it's affordable as far as a sit-down restaurant like this type is.

Enough restaurant review. We were there to celebrate Payton's birthday. He got a camera for his birthday (not from us) and was shooting photos while we were there (I shot some of my own, because that's what I do) and we gave him a few presents and bought dinner. He's also going to get a used couch from our house once he locates a truck to move it with. Nothing says Happy Birthday to a 19 year old like gently used furniture to fill a first apartment (which was a nice studio apartment). I remember my first apartment which was in Denver, Colorado in 1986. The irony here is that it was the same rent ($360 per month) and had some similarities to Payton's (like having all used furniture that was donated to me). Funny how that works.

My favorite moment of the night was when we were in the parking lot of Cheddar's getting ready to leave, I was giving Payton a few pointers on his camera, and I asked Anthony to jump in the air to show Payton how shutter priority works on a camera. Anthony said he was too full of food and ended up looking like a flamingo with it's leg up. We all got a good laugh. That's what I love about Anthony.... no matter what I tell him to do, he ends up doing whatever that is in his own unique way. He's an individual to the end.

Cheddar's at El Con Mall in Tucson.
We had Payton's birthday dinner here.

Payton digs into his birthday present sack.

Nothing says Happy Birthday like opening
presents on a freezing cold bench outside
of a restaurant.
Happy Birrrrrrrrrrthday.

More present opening

Anthony and Payton

Host station inside the front door of Cheddar's

Here's the menu.
And some silverware wrapped in napkins.

We sat at a table near the bar.
They have a fish tank.
The fish are too tiny to eat
but were pretty to look at.

Appetizer (chicken strips, potato skins,
mozzarella bites)

My baKEN cheeseburger

Payton's club sandwich

Anthony's chicken strip dinner

Payton had a chocolate cake shooter for dessert

I asked Anthony to jump in the parking lot

He only lifted one leg on his jump.
Flamingos could learn a lot from this.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First visit to Serial Grillers

Anthony left our Sunday dinner choice up to me today and I decided that we should try a place we've never been to before: Serial Grillers on Speedway Blvd.

Serial Grillers is a restaurant that started out as a local food truck, and they added the restaurant after the truck business was successful. I heard that the food is good, so with the dinner decision left up to me.... Anthony was stuck with what my imagination could come up with.

Their menu primarily consists of pizza, sandwiches (hot and cold), paninis, cheesesteaks, burgers, and ice cream.

The restaurant was about half full (pretty good for a Sunday evening in Tucson) and although it didn't take long for them to take our order, it took a while for them to bring out the food. Anthony ordered a pizza which was the likely culprit for the delay, and I had a cheeseburger and fries.

The ambience is what I'd describe as "urban grunge" but it was clean and they cleared and wiped tables pretty quickly when they were vacated.

We both thought the food was pretty good. They could go a little easier on the mustard that they put on my burger, but that's me being a picky bitch.

After dinner, we rolled through Target and I purchased a couple of sweaters and some cologne, and then we went grocery shopping at Walmart Neighborhood Market at Broadway and Camino Seco.

The Oscars were on TV tonight and I missed most of the show (except for the last hour) because we were out. I did enjoy what I saw even though I have not seen any of the movies that were nominated. We have HBO and Showtime so hopefully a few of them will pop up on those channels some time this year.

We ate dinner at Serial Grillers on Speedway

They have ice cream!
(even though we didn't have any this trip)

Order here (after this giant man in
blue moves out of the way)

A blurry photo of a pizza
coming out of the oven

Our order number or my IQ
times two

Interior photo of dining room
at Serial Grillers

We actually ate at a restaurant with
other people in it.
It's a miracle!

Anthony's Canadian bacon pizza

I had the "Leatherface" cheeseburger.
Most food items are named after
movies with serial killers in them.
Serial Grillers / serial killers - get it?

Looks like a cheeseburger to me.
Lovely bun, too much mustard for Ken.

They had this neato jukebox that plays songs you request
via an app you can download on your phone.
And, it displays the latest Tweet with the
restaurant's Twitter handle.
That blue bar on the left kept showing my Tweet
talking about the place over and over the whole time
we were eating dinner.

At Target at Grant and Tanque Verde.
It took all of the willpower I could muster
to not purchase this nifty hat.

I'd like pillows without crabs, please.

Little Debbie Easter Basket Cakes
at Walmart Market at Broadway and Camino Seco.
They make a snack cake for just about
every holiday that exists.

Someone left a copy of the book "American Sniper"
next to the Honey Buns.

Reese's Reester Bunny.
Those Reese's people are clever.
They should create a firecracker
shaped one for Reesedependence Day

This package of adult diapers attempted
to make a getaway in the incontinence aisle.
Not so fast, absorbent underwear.

Friday, February 20, 2015


One of the segments we had on the TV show today featured a couple of stunt performers from an event at Old Tucson called "Shootout At The Chaparral".

The stuntmen, Dr. Buck and Greg, had show hosts Tina and Heather punch, slap, and basically kick their asses.

The photos that I shot during the segment were a lot of fun. And, if I ever need bodyguards, I know the first two people I'd offer jobs to. These ladies kicked some butt.

Tina with the wind up

The gut punch


Slapping Dr. Buck

That had to hurt.

Heather gives Greg a shot in the gut


Hope Greg still has all of his teeth

This looks like a stunt that I could perform


Maybe he shouldn't have planted one after all